Sketch Worksheets in STEM Classrooms: Two Deployments


  • Kenneth D. Forbus Northwestern University
  • Bridget Garnier University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Basil Tikoff University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Wayne Marko Oakton Community College
  • Madeline Usher Northwestern University
  • Matthew McLure Northwestern University



Sketching is a valuable but underutilized tool for science education. Sketch worksheets were developed to help change this, by using artificial intelligence technology to give students immediate feedback and to give instructors assistance in grading. Sketch worksheets use automatically computed visual representations combined with conceptual information to give feedback to students, by computing analogies between students’ sketches and an instructor’s solution sketch. This enables domain experts to develop sketch worksheets, to facilitate dissemination. We describe our experiences in deploying them in geoscience and artificial intelligence classes. The geoscience worksheets, authored by geoscientists at University of Wisconsin–Madison, were used at both Wisconsin and Northwestern University. The artificial intelligence worksheets were developed and used at Northwestern. Our experience indicates that sketch worksheets can provide helpful on-the-spot feedback to students, and significantly improve grading efficiency, to the point where sketching assignments can be more practical to use broadly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

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How to Cite

Forbus, K., Garnier, B., Tikoff, B., Marko, W., Usher, M., & McLure, M. (2020). Sketch Worksheets in STEM Classrooms: Two Deployments. AI Magazine, 41(1), 19-32.



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